Parenting while working from home: How to fulfill both?
If you are a parent working from home these last weeks, I salute you! I’ve recently read an article around this theme which got me thinking…the piece mentioned how impacted are both responsibilities: being a parent and having to work.
Being in a similar situation, I can relate. Don’t get me wrong, working from home has definitely its perks…though doing it with a 15-month-old baby running around you is quite challenging to say the least. Even when you have a supportive partner, making the impossible to keep the kid entertained for more than 10 minutes straight. After meetings around the clock, plus the actual work to be finished within strict deadlines, it is time to swap and give your partner a break. To make it short, directly from “employee of the month” to “parent of the year” …aren’t these the expectations? From your employer, from your partner, from yourself.
I’m not sure about you, although I can’t help but feeling that I’m not fulfilling any of the two roles which leads to frustration and disappointment. If you’re experiencing something similar, how are you dealing with it? What exactly are you doing to cope with such demanding situation? Here, today, I can only share my experience. Below are 3 of my own strategies, improvement in progress to consider.
Mindset. Before even starting the day, right when I wake up, I do my best to set the mind for the day. Mindset is essential to stay focused throughout the daily challenges and to stay connected to my goals. This can be achieved through many ways, depending on one’s preferences. It can be a quick shower, listen to some powerful tunes, meditate, saying a prayer, read an inspiring paragraph, having a cup of coffee sitting in the balcony. Whatever works to kick you into an effective state of mind, solid enough to keep you pumped throughout the day.
Priorities. Starting by setting a list of priorities for the day (first thing in the morning or the evening before). Meaning I’ll focus only on the activities/ tasks that I need to conclude on that day due to strict deadlines or interdependencies. This is valid for both my work and my private sphere. The purpose here is not to be tangled into non-urgent and non-important tasks that only leads to a sense of lack of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Boundaries. Setting specific boundaries is of utmost importance to have a successful day, especially while working from home. Home is now simultaneously the office, meaning that it can be even harder to make that paramount distinction between professional and private life. Keeping an eye on the clock to ensure the working day has its start and end time, to then be able to focus on the family or own free time. This is particularly helpful when you must work shifts with your partner, giving both the opportunity to keep a balanced schedule.
Most important is that you explore and find your own strategies. At the end of the day, reality is we need to work and cannot (though would be handy sometimes!) ship our children off somewhere. You’re not alone in this battle, yet you’re the one knowing what works best for you.